Arpaio Detention Officer Adam "Sticky Fingers" Stoddard Out of Clink Pending Appeal, but His Days as, um, "Political Prisoner" May Be Over

Adam Stoddard, the sticky-fingered detention officer jailed for defying a court order demanding he apologize to a defense attorney for taking her legal papers, has been released from jail.

At a press conference this afternoon, Stoddard stepped up to the microphone, spoke for less than a minute, cast a victorious smirk, and was whisked away by one of his fellow boys-in-beige.

"I'm very happy to have my freedom back," Stoddard told reporters. "I want to particularly thank Sheriff Joe. It was my decision and my decision alone to take the stand that I did. I want to thank Sheriff Joe for giving me that option."

Never hurts to plant a few smooches on the boss-man's butt.

Stoddard -- under the advice of his lawyer, Tom Liddy (son of G. Gordon Liddy of Watergate infamy) -- answered no questions about the conditions of his stay while a guest of the county. In fact, he didn't answer any questions at all.

Liddy deferred all questions about the conditions of Stoddard's confinement to the Sheriff's Office, but says, based on what he saw, Stoddard's conditions were far from cruel
or unusual.

No shit -- he had all his buddies watching him. Chances are it was more of a camping trip than an incarceration.

Stoddard's release is the result of an appeal filed by Liddy on his behalf. The appeal, which was granted, allows Stoddard an "interlocutory stay" pending the outcome.

Chances are that whatever the outcome of the appeal, Stoddard's days as a "political prisoner" are over.

Even if Stoddard loses the appeal, and he is found in contempt, his case won't be going back to the judge who sent him to the slammer, Gary Donahoe.

In more mind mind-boggling county madness this week, Arpaio and Andy Thomas have filed criminal charges against Donahoe, creating a probable conflict of interest in any case Donahoe may have in his court pertaining to the sheriff or his deputies.

So if Stoddard's appeal fails and he is still found in contempt, his case will probably go to a different judge, who more than likely won't be throwing him back in jail, because -- for no other reason -- he or she will probably choose to stay off Joe's radar.

Sad that it may be coming to this, but it appears that practically any official who crosses Arpaio or Thomas -- no matter how righteous their action -- becomes a target.

The question is... who will step in to stop this? Because if charges are filed against every county jurist who rules against Thomas or Arpaio, we will soon have only frightened toadies left.